Everyday Mom's Meals
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Sunday, August 18, 2019

Only 177 Days to Go


Whew. We did it. We survived the first week of school. HIGH SCHOOL! Okay, so it wasn't a full week, but hey, it still counts! And yes, that countdown above is how mommy is coping! I know exactly how many days until Labor Day, Fall Break, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring Break...you get the picture. I miss my boy!

But when the weekends roll around, it's still summer in our house! I'm still going to plan outdoor fun, and soak up every last bit of the warm, sunny days because this is Indiana and the minute the calendar says September, you never know what's going to happen!

There are still plenty of cookouts to have, and you're going to want to take this to your next one! Sure, it makes a terrific no bake, simple dessert, but in this family, it's a side dish. Let me explain. When I was growing up, my Grammy always had at least one "fluff salad" dish at holidays or big gatherings. Why was something so sweet called a salad? Two reasons. 1. Most of the time they contained fruit. 2. If she called it salad, we could eat it with the meal, and still have pie when we were done. It's all about optics!

In that spirit, I almost always serve my fluff dishes as a side dish, including this one. All the flavors of a favorite summer time beverage rolled into a delicious, gorgeous sweet treat that will be a huge hit, no matter how you serve it!

Cherry Limeade Fluff
15 large marshmallows
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 lime, juiced
16 oz. jar maraschino cherries, halved
1 small box cherry Jello
1 (29 oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained
8 oz. tub Cool Whip
 1 1/2 c. Cherry 7-Up

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine soda and marshmallows. Stir until marshmallows are melted and mixture is combined. Set aside. In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to combine cream cheese, Jello and lime juice until smooth. Stir marshmallow mixture into cream cheese mixture until well combined. Gently fold in cherries and oranges. Cover and chill overnight. When ready to serve, add Cool Whip and stir well. 


Inspired by The Country Cook

Sunday, August 11, 2019

That Moment


As many of you know, not only do I run the EMM world, I am also a contributor for Parade Magazine's online food site. I have been writing for them for about five years now, and it has opened up a whole new world to me and the blog. Plus, it's another way I am able to help support my family and maintain the blog with free recipes for all of you!

Recipes that I blog here, I then share to Parade for them to publish as well. Or, that is how it normally works. But this month, there was a little hitch in that plan and this recipe was actually shared on their site before I had a chance to blog it here. Now, I will admit, I'm a little OCD and that bothered me a little because I like for my stuff to debut on my site first before I share it elsewhere, but then something happened that made it 100% okay!

Last Monday I woke up and logged onto Parade to find MY recipe was the featured recipe and cover photo of their entire food section. Woo hoo! I was excited, and apparently people were loving it because they left it there for the ENTIRE day!


So, even though this wasn't going to be published on EMM until later in the month, I decided it needed to be moved up pronto! I had to calm those OCD nerves somehow!

Taco Spaghetti is great for your Taco Tuesday, or your pasta supper tonight! Two classic favorites come together in one amazing dish that will be gobbled down! We couldn't stay out of it! Even the leftovers were fought over the next day!

With school starting back up this week for many of us (I HAVE A FRESHMAN!!! HOW DID THAT HAPPEN????) Simple casserole suppers are going to be in high demand. Tell the kids you're taking two of their absolute favorite meals and making them into one...and then watch them run to the table!

Taco Spaghetti
1 lb. thin spaghetti, broke in half
1 lb. ground beef
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (10 oz.) can Rotel
1 packet taco seasoning
2/3 c. chunky salsa
2/3 c. water
1 1/2 c. shredded Mexican blend cheese
Salt and Pepper 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Cook pasta to al dente. In a large skillet brown beef until no pink. Add taco seasoning and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Add black beans, Rotel and salsa. Stir well. Add 1 c. cheese and combine until melted. When pasta is cooked, drain well and add to skillet. Mix well. Transfer to baking dish. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover, add 1/2 c. cheese and bake for 5 additional minutes until melted.


Shared at Weekend Potluck

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Tater Salad Inspired

Pasta Salad. I know, we all have a hundred recipes for it, but you know what? We never seem to get tired of finding new ones, so here I go again.

This one came to be quite simply. I thought about my Amish Potato Salad that my hubby LOVES and decided we needed to try the same idea for a new side dish.

I actually made this back on Father's Day weekend for a cookout with my parents (Can we pause for a moment and think about the fact that was almost 2 months ago?!?!) and even my daddy enjoyed it; and to be honest, he is kind of a purest when it comes to macaroni salad. He prefer my mom's recipe and it pretty much ends there. But he really liked this for something different.

So, what makes this different than others? The sweet factor. I've learned that many times if a salad like this has "Amish" in the title, it's usually going to be a tad sweeter than others. This also reminds us of a macaroni salad you find at the deli counter. Except one thing, and this is an important note. Mine is a little drier. Be sure to read why at the end of the recipe so you can decide which way your family will enjoy it more!

Summer isn't over yet. I'm hanging on with every fiber in my body. And that means there is plenty more time for cookouts, backyard barbecues, picnics...and of course Labor Day is less than a month away, so we'll be needing some terrific dishes for that too!

Amish Macaroni Salad
1 lb. elbow macaroni
4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 celery ribs, diced
2 c. Miracle Whip
2 TBS dill pickle relish
3 TBS yellow mustard
2 tsp. white vinegar
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. celery seed, extra for garnish
Salt and Pepper. to taste

Boil macaroni. While it cooks, add red pepper, eggs and celery to large bowl. In medium bowl whisk together Miracle Whip, relish, mustard, vinegar, sugar, celery seed, salt and pepper. When macaroni is cooked, rinse with cold water and drain well. Add to large bowl with eggs and veggies. Mix well. Pour dressing over top. Stir very well. Chill for 2 hours or overnight. Garnish with extra egg and celery seed if desired. *NOTE* If you serve this after the minimum chilling, it will be "wetter" than overnight. We prefer our macaroni salad a little more dry, so I opt for overnight.




Inspired by Sweet Little Bluebird
Shared at Weekend Potluck

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Egg Noodles Please


Back in May when I shared my Cajun Chicken Pasta, it was a huge hit with not only my family, but a lot of yours too! (That makes me so happy!) So, if you were one of the many that enjoyed it, you're going to flip for the this new side dish, since it was 100% inspired by those same flavors!

Sometimes when I meal plan, side dishes are my nemesis. I can figure out mains with no problem, and then I have to brainstorm for quite a while before the perfect side comes to me. Now, yes, we have our staples and our favorites, and even some meals that have to have the same things with it every single time (Seriously, these boys will riot if certain things aren't served together. Fish sticks must have mac n cheese. No substitutions.)

Many times when I find myself in this conundrum, egg noodles pop into my head...and then I begin to drool. See, they are one of my favorite things on the planet, can take on great flavor, are super easy  go with almost anything, and can live in the pantry forever.

That is exactly how this dish came to be. We were grilling out, I had a bag just calling my name, and I wanted something different. Then I remembered that Cajun Chicken Pasta and thought "Hey, I could take those basic flavors, leave out the protein and have a pretty killer side dish."

The sauce on these is much lighter than a thicker Alfredo. It lightly coats the noodles, without being too heavy. They tasted great with the chicken I served them with, but would be equally delicious with seafood or steak I think.

If you're like me and always on the hunt for new side dishes, be sure to add these to your "to make" list ASAP!

Creamy Cajun Noodles
1 lb. egg noodles, cooked and drained
3 TBS butter
1 c. heavy cream
1 c. half and half
1 small yellow onion, finely minced
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 c. chicken broth
2 1/2 TBS Cajun seasoning
Juice of 1 lemon 
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dried Parsley

While noodles cook, in a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium low heat. Saute onions with garlic powder until soft. Add chicken broth and scrape bottom of pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly add cream, half and half, Cajun seasoning, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Add cheese and whisk to combine. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until slightly thickened. When noodles are cooked, add sauce and stir well. Garnish with dried parsley. *NOTE* This is NOT a thick sauce life Alfredo, it will be just thick enough to coat a spoon and lightly mix with noodles. 


Shared at Weekend Potluck

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Beach Withdrawal

As many of you know, we spent the last week of June and the first week of July at our favorite beach in the world, New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

We had glorious weather. Seriously. Out of 14 days...it rained for 3 hours. True story. So we soaked up plenty of sun, played in the sand and surf, and spent countless hours in pool. Oh it was wonderful! 

But alas, vacation has to come to an end. We've been back for a couple weeks now, and let me tell you, we are going through major withdrawal. Mostly we talk about all that tasty seafood we enjoyed; and the fact that our backyard doesn't have an ocean. 

When these whining moments come along, I try really hard to remember the memories we made will last a lifetime! I look at the hundreds of photos and I feel better. Then I try to figure out how I can bring some of that fabulous food we gorged ourselves on home to Indiana.

This year I decided to start with dessert. See, our favorite key lime pie in the world can only be found in NBS. We look forward to it every year, and have been known to eat it for breakfast. So I thought why not use those flavors in a simple, no bake, summer sweet treat? 

You might read almonds and think "why?" It is an easy explanation. That pie we fight over? It has almonds along the crust, on top of the whipped cream. So yes, I had to throw some in too! 

I hope you're soaking up all summer as to offer, and like us making some memories to live off for months to come!

Key Lime Parfaits
Graham Crackers
1 (21 oz.) can key lime pie filling
1 (12 oz.) tub Cool Whip
1/2 c. sliced almonds, reserve a few for garnish

In parfait glasses, or a similar dish, begin layers. Break up graham crackers to cover bottom. Add pie filling, and spread evenly. Sprinkle with almonds. Add Cool Whip, spread evenly. Repeat layers, ending with Cool Whip. Garnish with extra almonds. Chill until ready to serve. 



Shared at Weekend Potluck
Shared at Meal Plan Monday